Ever wonder what donors, members and prospects say behind your back?  Every wonder how they feel about the experience they have with your nonprofit?

Are their thoughts pleasant? Or are they bitter? Seth Godin wrote a blog post last week titled, Memories of bitterness. His point was that a negative experience leaves a bitter memory for a long time.

And people will talk about that bitterness with their friends and colleagues whenever something jogs their memory. So as a fundraiser and marketer … you need to care about the conversations and the memories your supporters have.

Why? Because the bitter memories and negative conversations will reduce the number of people who choose to support your nonprofit.  In other words, you earn less revenue.

Besides caring, what can you do to help ensure their experience with your charity or association is positive? Or better yet, an exceptional experience?

Be brutally honest with yourself as you answer these questions:

How sincere was that last thank you letter?

How friendly is your staff when they answer the phone? How helpful are they in connecting callers with the right person? Is your staff genuinely eager to help donors and members?

How do you think about your supporters? As the life blood and soul of your nonprofit? Or as a number … a source of revenue?

How hard do you work to find out what is of interest to your donors and members … what is important to them?

When you write an email, page of web copy, direct mail letter or Tweet … are you thinking, “How does this help my reader? What does this mean to them?”

Are you writing copy the way you want to see it … or in a way your readers most enjoy, appreciate and respond to?

How considerate are you … really considerate … of the people who support your nonprofit?
Are they first in mind when redesigning your website?
Are they first in mind when creating an online donation form?
Are they first in mind when writing any copy?
Are they first in mind when planning an event?
Are they first in your mind?

Your answers to those questions determine the memories and feelings your donors and members have toward you. Your answers determine the tone of the conversations people are having about your charity or association.

You might be helping your cause. Or you might be undermining it.

As the fundraiser and marketer, I firmly believe your donors, members, prospects and advocates need to be foremost in your mind. They ought to have a higher priority than the people your mission serves.

The front line staff employees can have the beneficiaries of your mission top of mind. But again I say, as the marketer and fundraiser … for you it’s the supporters of your mission.

Customer Service. Donor Service. Member Service. Volunteer Service. Make it all exceptional for sweet memories and conversations. You’ll also raise more funds.

More posts on exceptional service and donor cultivation:

Because You Care and THEY Need to Know You Care

Why fundraising isn’t enough for your charity